Record spree at SA titles
South Australian Historic Road Race Championships
26-28 December, 2014 – McNamara Park, Mount Gambier SA
Having lost my ride on a Molnar Manx a couple of months ago hasn’t dimmed my interest in classic racing. So, with that in mind my good lady wife and I rode over to Mount Gambier to take in the annual SA titles at Mac Park. For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of attending any race meetings at Mac Park, you’ve missed a treat. It is a fabulous circuit run by an enthusiastic club whose members go out of their way to be as pleasant as possible. This year, with a record entry of 180 competitors, plus a couple of serious crashes their organisation skills were well tested.
One of the events that I particularly wanted to see was the Period 3 500 class with Levi Day entered on Mick Skeer’s Macintosh Manx, perennial front runner Jack Wright on his Summerfield Manx and Darren Trotter on David Atkinson’s Molnar G50 Matchless. This trio of speedsters are all local Gambians and tend to get around Mac Park like rockets. Add to the mix Victorian Keith Campbell on his ESO/Manx to keep them honest and it had the makings of a cracker race. Unfortunately, Levi threw the Skeerie Manx away two weeks earlier while testing, Trotter and Campbell both had mechanical gremlins and Jack had it all his own way. He won all three P3 500 races at a canter. Another of the events that promised spectacular action was the Period 3 Unlimited, where young Jack was down to ride the Trease Harley. It didn’t front for race one due to a mechanical problem, but did for races 2 and 3. Holy mackerel! What a spectacular display. Cornering and brakes are somewhat “iffy”, but it has a ton of grunt. Wheel standing out of turns 12 and 3, and snaking and twisting everywhere else Jack had the throttle open. A great exhibition of throttle control and patience. David Trotter (that name again) won the three-race event on a JAP engined monster. Another of the events that was of interest to me was the Ken Blake Memorial. I knew Kenny very well and raced against him often. Simon Cook on a CB750 Honda won, but again Jack Wright wrestled the Trease Harley to a well deserved second place only two tenths of a second behind. Simon obviously has a rocket ship and rides it well. In doing so Jack managed to get down to a 1:18.5 lap time. I believe this is a P3 Unlimited lap record. The only-ever faster lap was done by David Johnson on a Macintosh Kawasaki 1200 at 1:15.28 in 2006. Blakey would have been well pleased. The Bob Jolly Memorial, a P3, 500cc single cylinder format was again won by Jack Wright. Brendan O’Neill finished a fine second on his lovely G50 Matchless. The sidecar events were entertaining as usual. Great to see my friend Max Hooper doing well. He managed first in the P4 event on his Honda Windle with three wins from three, with passenger Matty Johnston swinging for him. Peter Large and Wayne Rowe won the P3 and Ian Gardner with Kevin Burns won the P5. Other than a couple of unfortunate crashes it was a fabulous weekend of cut and thrust classic racing. Pity I wasn’t out on track, but it gave me a chance to catch up with people I wouldn’t have been able to if I had leathers on. Well done to the Historic Road Racing Register of South Australia.